Pediatric Poliomyelitis Workup

Updated: Nov 04, 2022
  • Author: Benjamin Estrada, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Laboratory Studies

Obtain specimens from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), stool, and throat for viral cultures in patients with suspected poliomyelitis infection.

Obtain acute and convalescent serum for antibody concentrations against the 3 polioviruses.

A 4-fold increase in the immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody titers or a positive anti-immunoglobulin M (IgM) titer during the acute stage is diagnostic.


Imaging Studies

Ferraz-Filho et al observed that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is useful in differentiating between vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis and other conditions and in assessing the extent of lesions. [19] Choudhary et al studied poliomyelitis in India and concluded that MRI revealed signal changes in bilateral substantia nigra and anterior horns of the spinal cord that could be of diagnostic significance in a child with poliomyelitis. [20]